I felt the course was a great refresher on the basic understanding of research, as both a consumer and as a producer. The weekly deliverables definitely helped to form that understanding and culminated in the final project. Learning is not a passive process, but rather based on how the human mind works, “namely that the human mind is a dual-channel, limited-capacity active-processing system” (Mayer, 2008, p. 37). In that sense, this course reintroduced principles and theories that form the foundation for scholarly research and how much we, as consumers, rely on research to make daily decisions. In week one, I stated that I am constantly performing research, whether to simply check and compare grocery prices, check gas prices, or research online for reviews on various products I am interested in. And as a student, performing research is almost a constant task, whether to support a view, or provide integrity and validity to a formal paper.
As an instructional designer, research is important in practice, in part, to provide support for recommended design changes or solutions to workplace issues. In addition, as a professional, it is my obligation to follow sound ethical procedures when presenting proposed solutions, including critical review of relevant literature so my audience can make informed decisions (Burns et al., 1999). One important aspect we covered in the course was the importance of providing integrity and validity of data; and how often we are presented with misleading information to support an agenda. Finding the truth in data is not an easy task; in fact, the screening process in research is probably the most time consuming aspect of research (Fink, 2013).
In summary, the material presented throughout the course, the interaction with colleagues in discussion, and preparing weekly assignments, certainly added to my knowledge on the process of conducting a research study. The final project allowed me to put this knowledge to work in the form of performing a literature review and preparing a solution proposal.
Burns, J. Z., et al. (1999). Standards on ethics and integrity. Performance Improvement Quarterly 12(3), 5–30. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_4199440_1%26url%3D
Fink, A. (2013). Conducting research literature reviews: From the Internet to paper (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
Mayer, R. E. (2008). Applying the science of learning: Evidence-based principles for the design of multimedia instruction. American Psychologist, 63(8), 760-769. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.63.8.760